2018 Nationwide Conference USSSA
Pure Sports "Peach State" Major
Pure Sports MVP Justin Mucciarelli hits a 2 run single against Precision in the championship!
Playlist of archived games
Mucciarelli and Pat Price from Pure Sports and interim Precision manager/3rd Street sponsor Robert Mahaffey
The "Peach State" Atlanta Major sponsored by "Pure Sports" began on Friday night with 32 teams on the 5 – 300-foot softball fields in threatening weather. There were a couple of big upsets in the first round as Bayou/TNT/GTM/EA a 'D' team from Georgia shocked Baugh Ford/Pure Sports/Kincaid (AL-TBD) 33-27. Also, Georgia 'C' team K-Pow knocked off Conference TBD team SNI/Easton/SDA/Dynasty 31-10. Meanwhile Premier/Easton/HDLNS (OH-A) won by forfeit to a team that thought the tournament would get rained out. By the way there were no weather delays on the weekend and Saturday and Sunday there was no rain at all. A small miracle! Also, in the first round CTC beat Empire 34-23 in a battle of non-Conference but talented 'B' teams. Nightmare/Miken (MO-AA) beat First Priority 36-1! Precision/3rd Street/Bull Dawg (IL-AA) went 7 innings to beat TCS Softball 'D' team 46-34. Wiley’s Supreme Alpha (FL-B) beat Georgia's own Southern Mayhem 22-20. Pure Sports Monsta (SC-AA) won 30-0 and only allowed one base runner on and error against GOMB (GA-E). Rebel Sports/Dirty (MI-A) beat a good Briggs team 28-24. OI Livingston a Georgia all-star team crushed Ohio B team Titans 30-9. Primetime/Easton/Evolution (GA-A) run ruled Southland, Rapid Fire Athletics (VA-A) run ruled that Eagle Paint team that almost beat Dan Smith in Chattanooga a few weeks ago, and Riot Sports/Broughton/Beckham/Worth (FL-AA) run ruled JDG Logistics. Two other Conference teams had "scares" as Smash It Sports/Thunder (NY-B) had to hit a walk off grand slam to beat local Georgia team Crunchtime 27-23, and Sports Reach (KY-B) beat a very good Kut4 Sports/FBC/Worth team 28-26 to advance to the round of 16.
In the round of 16 there were 4 non-conference teams and 12 conference teams. Sports Reach scored 43 to beat Bayou, the 'D' team that beat Baugh Ford the night before. Riot Sports then beat the SmashIt 'B' team 27-7 and then Sports Reach 31-11 to advance to the final 4. Primetime 20 run ruled fellow 'A' team Rapid Fire 31-11. Pure Sports struggled against OI Livingston in one of the best games of the tournament. Pure Sports slowly came from behind against OI to force extra innings where Ryan Mcclanahan painted the left field line with 2 outs for a 2 run double in the top of the 8th. In the bottom of the inning Pure Sports got a great diving stop by shortstop Zack Messer on a hard grounder and then Heath Barnes at second base and Chente Granados in the middle turned a double play to win the game by a run. Pure Sports then smashed Primetime in a very quick game 33-8 to advance to the final 4. In the bottom half of the bracket All Out jumped out early and beat Rebel Sports 25-15 before losing by 20 to Precision who had also just run ruled Wiley's. And Nightmare knocked off non-conference 'B' team CTC 39-24 before struggling past Premier 35-31 after leading by 16 runs to advance to the final 4!
So the top 4 'AA' teams in the tournament made it to the semifinals which started at 7:30 PM Saturday evening as a warm day gave way to a beautiful evening for softball. Precision made short work of Nightmare 24-7 as Brad Lunda went 3-4 with 3 HR and 8 RBI. And Pure Sports jumped all over Riot Sports in the other semifinal early on and led 29-19 going into the 6th. But Riot Sports never gave up and closed the score to 5 but couldn't get any closer and lost 33-28. Heath Barnes had two big home runs and 6 RBI in the game for Pure Sports and Brad Carlsen was on 5 out of 6 with 7 RBI.
In the winner's bracket finals which began at 10 PM Saturday night Precision scored 14 runs on 6 homers including a Matt Rear grand slam through the first 2 innings and led 14-3 going into the top of the 3rd. They also flashed some defense as Precision shortstop Kyle Kanneberg barehanded a high bouncer and threw Chente out at 1st base. In the bottom of the 5th Precisions Brad Tabler hit a 3 run homer to put Precision up 9 but Pure Sports scored 10 runs to tie the game going into the bottom of the 7th where Precision, out of homers, got a nice right center gapper from Chad Durick to win the game 35-34!
The loser's bracket played out from 8 AM Saturday morning until 2 AM Sunday morning with some long games. Briggs won 2 in a row in the losers bracket only to be sent home by Southern Mayhem who won their 3rd in a row. SNI started a little run of their own before Rapid Fire beat them 35-33 in a hotly contested game over on field AB3. Then Rapid Fire beat the Georgia All Stars – OI Livingston team 35-27 before Sports Reach upset them 35-33. And Sports Reach continued their run with a late night win over Primetime 39-34 before Nightmare sent them packing 37-35. In the bottom of the loser's bracket Kut 4 Sports won 3 in a row before Premier dropped down and beat them 30-17 and Titans Trucking from Ohio won 3 in a row before All Out dropped down and beat them 39-16. Then Premier knocked off AllOut 30-28 when AllOut grounded out with the winning runs on base and a homer left to hit. Premier though only scored 18 in their next game against Riot Sports late Saturday night and lost 27-18. That set up the 4th place game between 'AA' powers Nightmare and Riot Sports which started after midnight. Nightmare would end up winning 37-35 even though Riot Sports had the bats in their hands in the bottom of the 7th.
On Sunday they brought back 3 teams. In the 8 AM loser's bracket finals Nightmare had an early lead against Pure Sports but Pure batted around in the 4th scoring 9 runs and Justin Mackey totaled 9 RBI for the game as Pure advanced to the championship 39-30. In the first game of the championship Pure Sports came out of the gate on fire as Jason Branch, Chente Granados, Pat Price, and Justin Mackey all hit 3 run homers in the top of the first inning! Pure Sports scored 16 total on just 4 home runs. Precision was rattled and came up in the bottom of the first and put up a zero as MVP pitcher Justin Mucciarelli got a strike out looking and got into the heads of some of his ex-teammates on Precision. Precision was visibly flustered in that first game and Pure kept the pressure on the entire game. Precision could have folded by the 20-run rule in the 3rd but did not and they extended the game and avoided the run rule once but eventually lost 42-20. Carlsen at leadoff for Pure Sports was 5-6 and Zach Messer in the two hole was 6-6 with 7 RBI. The "if" game started a little different as Precision was the visitors and scored 11 runs in the first inning and led 11-2 going into the bottom of the 2nd. But Pure Sports got 8 runs in the bottom of the 2nd and 14 in the bottom of the 5th to take control of the game. Pure Sports then outscored Precision 21-5 down the stretch and were led by Georgia’s own Justin Mackey who was on base 6 out of 6 with 3 homers and 12 RBI in the final game, and Pure Sports won 42-30 to take their 2nd Conference tournament of the year!
The tournament used the classic M ball on the 300-foot fields. The infields were rough, and many bad hops were had even though they did drag the fields a couple of times each. It never did rain and that goes to show you that you cannot cancel tournaments early in the week because of a foreboding forecast. Last week in Texas there was no rain in the forecast and Sunday got washed out. This week there was nothing but rain in the forecast and it never rained…
Precision's Chad Durick hits a walk off single to beat Pure Sports in the bottom of the 7th of the winner's final
32 Teams Overall
14 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams
5 'AA' Teams
7 'A' Teams
8 'B' Teams
5 'C' Teams
7 'D/E' Teams
Pure Sports shortstop Zach Messer makes a diving stop to save the game against OI Livingston
Pure Sports Brad Carlsen hits a 3 run homer against Riot Sports in the semifinals
Precisions Travis Houseman just does beat the Pure Sports 1st baseman to the bag
Late Saturday night it was Sports Reach taking on Nightmare
Rapid Fire outlasts Primetime in a battle of southeastern 'A' teams
Well after midnight Nightmare beat Riot Sports to make it to the Sunday final 3
Winner's bracket finals Saturday night, Precision vs Pure Sports
Atlanta Major Awards and Final Standings
MVP was Pure Sports pitcher Justin Mucciarelli
Defensive MVP was Pure Sports MI/Pitcher Ryan Mcclanahan
Offensive co-MVP's were Precisions Jeff Keske and Brett McCollum